Pizza boxes were stacked in rows waiting to be retrieved as students began surrounding the Becker Amphitheater, some choosing their spot on the grass, while others stopped in their paths to listen to the music.
Bands No Tomxorrow, Gearheart and Red Valley prepared to battle for the chance to open for the 2018 Associated Students, Inc. Spring Concert.
Although all of the bands played their best, Gearheart’s performance and creative music took the crown. Bandmates Joey Chavez Ferguson, Kevin Tran, Pedro Galvez and Peter Chavez were excited to get the opportunity to open at Spring Concert.
“We never won anything before,” lead singer and guitarist Chavez Ferguson said. “We did one Battle of the Bands once and that went really horribly. We avoided doing it for years, but Kevin talked us into it and it all worked out.”
Gearheart drummer, Tran, is a communications major with a concentration in entertainment and tourism, and is the only student at Cal State Fullerton in the band.
“It’s a little difficult because I am going to school four days a week. So they kind of work around my schedule in a sense. I could still do some weekday shows, depending on when I get out of class, or if I have work,” Tran said.
However, that doesn’t stop the band from playing in venues like House of Blues, Whiskey a Go Go and The Queen Mary, or on shows like “KROQ Locals Only.” The musicians are no strangers to the stage as they play three to four shows a month at Perqs in Huntington Beach.
Gearheart wasn’t handed a simple win, as bands No Tomxorrow and Red Valley proved to be stiff competition.
“They were a really talented group of people,” Chavez Ferguson said. “They were great, they just need to keep chugging, you know. As long as you keep putting in the effort, things eventually reward you.”
The Gearheart band members said they started out “messing around in the garage.” The band has had their current lineup since 2014 and look forward to recording more songs in the near future. As of now, Chavez Ferguson said he creates songs and the band contributes to them artistically.
“About 80 percent of the time, I’ll come up with the skeleton of the song and then they’ll add the muscle and blood and everything,” Chavez Ferguson said.
Tran also gets creative with writing songs, especially with the band’s newest single, “Don’t Call,” which they played at the Battle of the Bands.
They said the crowd’s reactions are their biggest motivations.
“Crowd feedback is always the best, especially when you do something as simple as playing your favorite line or singing your favorite part,” bass guitarist and backup vocalist Galvez said. “It’s the small things that really matter. It just makes your day.”
Students can find Gearheart, along with other artists, performing at Spring Concert on April 7 starting at 4 p.m. Tickets online are currently on sale and cost $15 for students, $25 for alumni and $35 for guests. Headliners have yet to be announced.